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Five Reasons A Mountain Retreat Is The Best Type Of Family Holiday

Do you really need to be convinced to visit the magnificent Drakensberg? We doubt it! But just in case, here are 5 reasons why you should choose to make this your next family holiday! Plenty of family orientated activities – There are so many outdoor activities for you and your family to enjoy. Take a look at all the activities on offer at The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat and surrounding areas online. – Check out some family friendly HIKES to try whilst visiting The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. – Experience the culture and learn about the history of the Drakensberg. Let the children learn about the San Bushmen and rock artists by visiting the paintings on an educational and scenic hike. Peace and quiet Life has become so busy for us all, some of us can go for weeks without taking time out to be quiet, reflect and let our bodies rest. The Drakensberg is the perfect place to do just this. You and your family can enjoy the peaceful surroundings away from city hustle and bustle. Find some peace in the mountains or have a relaxing swim in our indoor pool, watch our wild horses, maybe tickle the ivories on our baby grand or simply read a good book in the great outdoors or curled up in front of a cosy fire. There is a quiet place for everyone to experience. Central location Located some 15 km off the R74 between Bergville and Harrismith, the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat is roughly equidistant from Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein (about 300km) which makes it an ideal midway meeting place for family and friends...

HIKING!

Amongst the many reasons people choose to visit South Africa every year are affordability, scenery, wildlife, weather, wine and food, and our outdoor lifestyle. One of the key elements to this outdoor lifestyle are the various hiking routes available to tourists. Many of our guests explore the hiking trails at Drakensberg Mountain Retreat whilst visiting us, so we decided to share some information on our hikes. Before setting out on a hike, always be mindful of the weather: Take water and a walking stick with you. Your safety is a top priority for us and we therefore insist that you take your cell phone as well as our maps and phone numbers along with you. We like to always be aware of where our guests are situated. Sunscreen is a must! A little more about our walking trails at Drakensberg Mountain Retreat… Our trails are well marked and cater for all abilities. Trail maps are available at reception and we can always suggest a hike/walk to suit your capabilities. We offer two longer hikes which take the better part of a day, two 3 hour rambles and 3 short strolls… Day Hikes.
 (These are strenuous hikes) Our Wingswept Trail is approximately 13km long. Starting from the Zonderntwyfel Barn house, the trail takes the hiker to the highest point of Vergezient and offers some incredible views of the surrounding mountains. From here a dragon-back dolerite ridge leads to Protea Pavement with close-up views of two landmarks: The Kerkenberg and Mpokelana Hill. Lower down an enormous rock, one of Wingswept’s photographic delights, marks the Place of the Hyena. The trail then descends through...

BIRDWATCHING IN THE BERG – OUR TOP TIPS FOR GREAT SIGHTINGS

Bird watching isn’t THE most popular activity amongst visitors in the Drakensberg for nothing! Besides the vast and majestic backdrop which appeals to all, the landscape is home to thousands of species of birds which are a must see for avid bird watchers. Why not visit this area of rich bird life for your next holiday? The Drakensberg region holds a number of unique species that attracts birders from all over the world! Visitors come to see the various raptors, vultures, cranes, bustards and more… Most birders bucket-lists feature the sought-after; Siskin Drakensberg (Orange-breasted) Rock jumper Mountain Pipit The Bearded Vulture Other species that people tend to look out for can be seen in the “forest areas” of the Drakensberg, these include the Donnybrook, Creighton, Cape Parrot, Orange Ground Thrush and Blue Swallow. In the higher lying areas (consisting mostly of grassland), people attempt to spot the Blue and Grey Crowned Cranes, the Denham’s Bustard and the famous Secretary bird. Take a look at this table of birds with their names and pictures for other common birds found in the Drakensberg: http://www.southerndrakensbergtourism.co.za/bird-species.html Our bird watching tips; Pack a relevant field guide for the area The best birders can identify a bird from many meters away but binoculars will most definitely enhance your experience. Its worth spending a little extra on these when you buy your pair. Do some research before taking your excursion and make a list of birds you wish to see. Try to aim for the correct landscape and times of day to see those specific birds. Use your phone to record sounds that you hear and...

WANT TO POP THE QUESTION SURROUNDED BY MAJESTIC PEAKS? TIPS FOR THE PERFECT MOUNTAIN PROPOSAL

Nowadays one can’t log onto Facebook or check their Instagram feed without being bombarded with engagement pics and the infamous “hand with ring photograph”! This places a lot of pressure on the guys in particular, as they need to find a way to propose that is special for them as a couple and unique enough to impress their lady (and her social media audience) too! If your girlfriend (soon to be fiancé) loves the outdoors and you as a couple enjoy hiking and weekend getaways in the Berg, then a mountain proposal might just be the route to take! We outline a few ideas and tips for your big moment here… Scenery You’ll need to pick the perfect spot! You can’t drive all the way to the Drakensberg Mountains for this dramatic moment and not have the right place to pop the question (especially if you choose to hire a photographer to capture this once in a lifetime moment for you – which we by the way, we suggest you do!). The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat team are hopeless romantics and would be only too glad to help you choose the best location and even help with a romantic picnic should you wish to enjoy a meal and a celebratory glass of champagne in the mountains after. Drama, drama, drama! Is your girlfriend the kind that likes anything super dramatic and over the top? Do you fear that simply being surrounded by picturesque scenery won’t be enough for her? Well, why don’t you write it in the sky then? Make the gesture even grander by hiring a plane with a...

IS HIKING IN THE DRAKENSBERG DANGEROUS?

So, the Drakensberg is renowned for its challenging hikes and endless scenic views, but are we safe whilst adventuring through the great Drakensberg Mountains? Is hiking in the Drakensberg dangerous? The experienced Drakensberg Mountain Team outline the do’s and don’ts, the dangers and the myths behind hiking in these magnificent mountains, below… The average person on the street probably considers hiking through the Moloti-Drakensberg Park over a weekend, a rather dangerous and daring hobby / excursion, and this is not an unfair assumption to make. We’ll outline the facts below so that you can decide for yourself, if it’s something you would like to add to your bucket list. Factors contributing to possible dangers whilst hiking through the Drakensberg Mountains: The weather The unpredictable and quickly changing weather patterns in the Drakensberg make hiking more dangerous but having said this, mountains all over the world have a unique climate of their own due to the high altitudes. Getting stuck in the mountains during an intense storm may be dangerous, but using weather forecasts and packing the correct equipment can help prevent this or help in a volatile situation. Generally speaking the Drakensberg experiences mostly sunshine and some storms later in the day. Rock formation Some of the rocks in the Drakensberg are less secure than other areas but this again is something you will experience no matter where in the world one is hiking. Avoid unpleasant and unnecessary falls by purchasing the correct hiking shoes and trekking poles. Navigation Nobody wants to get lost or make calls for an emergency rescue team! Our fantastic weather (the sunshine mentioned earlier)...
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